Three Broken Records, Vol. 3
When I find an album I like, I listen to it repeatedly for a while. Here are three albums that got a lot of spins from me this past month.
Bill Frisell has been one of my favorite guitarists for quite a while now, and East/West, a double disc live album from 2005 featuring Kenny Wollesen on drums and either Tony Scherr or Viktor Krauss on bass, illustrates nearly everything I love about his playing. There is brilliant use of space, texture, and melody in every track. "Shenendoah," the traditional folk song that has become one of Frisell's signature tunes, is absolutely inspiring in this set.
Another double album for the list, Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider is, to quote my friend's text message after I suggested he go buy this one, an epic vision quest. In my opinion, this album is the culmination of everything Mehldau has done up to this point. Produced by Jon Brion and featuring some incredible interplay from tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman, Highway Rider is worth repeated, intense listening.
I only recently started listening to the Black Keys, but I like everything I've heard so far. There's a rawness to their sound that recalls the blues and the early days of rock'n'roll, when it was still synonymous with rhythm & blues. Their latest album, Brothers, is much more soulful than rocking, but it's still done with a very old school, analog production style that has caused me to double check my iTunes and make sure I was listening to an album made in 2010 and not 1968.